April 13 2016

Nepal Earthquake Anniversary: A New School for Laxmi’s Village

Laxmi2Laxmi Kumal, age 14, and her four siblings were alone when the earth moved under their feet and their small home began to shake from side to side. Their parents are farmers and, like most people in their village, were working in the fields.

Their house was severely damaged and made inhabitable; many other homes in their remote village in the Gorkha district completely collapsed.

For this bright fifth grade student full of dreams, more heartbreaking than the loss of her home was the complete destruction of her school. Her school’s seventy-three students continued their studies in temporary bamboo shelters built by the villagers.

We have no water, toilets or playground, the rain and wind come into the makeshift building,” explains Laxmi. “It is really difficult to properly study in these conditions.

Now, thanks to Karuna-Shechen’s Earthquake Rehabilitation Program her school was selected to be one of the earthquake-affected schools to receive our long-term support.

Construction has started and the new building will have classrooms, toilets, and access to a reliable source of drinking water. We are also providing the school with supplies and uniforms, and an additional teacher.

Front: Ruins of the old school. Back: Frame for the new school.

It is painful for Laxmi to talk about the earthquake and the people she lost. The disaster has made a major impact in her life.

When I’m older I want to become a nurse,” she told us during a recent visit to her village. “I want to help others and learn how save lives. This is why I’m so happy Karuna-Shechen is rebuilding our school. Education will help me and my community have a better future.”

School uniforms distribution at one of the schools we support.

By always encouraging the active participation of villagers we are ensuring the sustainability of our projects. We have met with Laxmi’s community and her school’s staff, and management committee at every step of the process to define their priorities and include them in the plans.

The support we provide is not only material or financial. We also offer help and guidance to the teaching and administration teams and organize regular meetings so that that the school is managed with transparency and efficiency. Laxmi’s village will also benefit from our projects in the agricultural and health sectors as do all the 58 rural communities who participate in our rehabilitation activities.